I was sick. I felt weak. I’m a business owner and I encounter different people every single day.

I heard a lot about the novel coronavirus but it did not stop me from opening my store. I sell food. The business was booming even if it’s for take-out and delivery. Until one day, my body was in so much pain that I never felt my entire life. I could not get up to go to work. The next day, I had a high fever. And then cough. And it lasted for a week. And then my wife got sick too. That lasted for almost 2 weeks. My son kept reminding me of what to do since they suspect we got the virus and we never failed to do so. I decided to isolate myself and my wife from our sons. For more than 14 days, we never got out of the house, we barely go out of the room and we got better.

I was ready to go back to work. Then my business partner told me to completely close the store for now as he got sick too. I can’t operate the store without him. So I stayed home for another 2 weeks. My nephew, who just lives 2 blocks from me, started to feel the symptoms of COVID. I wonder how when in the first place he doesn’t go out at all. Unfortunately, he’s got heart failure too. And it took his life after a week. Sadly, we could not have a proper burial for him as we can’t even go out of the house. It’s heartbreaking.

As we can see dead bodies on the street, I realized that it is that easy for the virus to be spread. And that it could be the reason how my nephew got it. Yet another week has passed, another family member has died, it was my brother-in-law who lives right next to my nephew’s. It’s sad how we can’t say our last goodbye to our loved ones. This virus has changed our lives completely. And for us in Guayaquil, we don’t know how long we will still suffer and how many deaths we will have.